Dream Cultures, III : "Mediterranean".


7. (pp. 121-42) Christine Walde : "Artemidoros, the Greek Interpreter of Dreams".

p. 124 "The work’s five ... books display a unique linkage of theory and practice ... . Books 1 and 2 focus on the theoretic implications of dream interpretation, followed by ... possible contexualization. ... In Book 4 Artemidorus attempts a synthesis of the preceding books : ... he describes, on a theoretical level, the logical connection between dream elements and waking life."

p. 126 "The diviners believed that the course of fate, which a divine power has planned in minute detail, is manifest in recognizable fashion in a cosmic sympatheia running through all parts of the world ... . These disciplines lay claim to solving the riddle of ... the world’s phenomena as a text – one either conveying direct statements ... or making suggestions .. . Artemidorus’s interpretation of dreams is thus ... an imposing reservoir of knowledge about things of the world and their interdependence; thus his hermeneutic explanation of the world has its rightful place alongside the natural sciences."

p. 127 "Like all diviners, Artemidorus wants to alleviate the fears of men and women ... . ... By evaluating dream narratives and following up his client’s life history, Artemidorus tried to find a logical connection between the dream world and the waking world, in order to explain the images of the night and render them useful for various ends."

p. 127 "Artemidorus works with numerous methodological extensions of context, such as the experiences and emotions of his clients, and facts and concepts of the natural sciences, linguistics, and literature. His dream interpretation ... postulates the uniqueness of every single dream, since it is influenced by the life, character, education, and so forth, of the dreamer."

p. 128 "The dream cannot be seen independently of the dreaming subject; neither ... can be simulated in an experimental situation."

p. 132 "Freud stated that Artemidorus explained his clients’ dreams without any imput on their part (something which can be said about Freud’s own ... method of interpretation ...). But a careful reading of the Oneirocritca ... reveals a different story :

Artemidorus’s interpretations took place in a partly structured conversation, within which the client had to contribute to the evaluation of the dream ... . The interpreter took both ... the dream in question and the real life of the dreamer as coordinates of the conversation."

p. 133 (quoted from Oneirokritika 4:59) "You must examine closely, moreover, the habits of men before the dream, that is, you must carefully inquire into them. ... For example, someone dreams that he has practiced fellatio with his own wife. Another man, moreover, dreams that his wife has practiced fellatio with him. ... Some time later, I discovered that both of the men were in the habit of practicing fellatio".

p. 134 "each individual soul transmutes the message in a different fashion according to his life circumstances, the surrounding culture, and the dreamer’s level of learning. For Artemidorus, in converting the message into special images ... : dream messages are coded in order to prompt reflection in the dreamers about themselves and their place in the world."

p. 135 Artemidoros readily conceded that "he does not know the final origin of these interconnections ... . ... . ... such as confession of limitations is a sign not of Artemidorus’s incompetence, but of the integrity of a researcher honestly interested in his subject."

p. 135 "Artemidorus also observes that, in dreaming, only material that the dreamer has received previously can be used for encoding – something, he explains, that can be observed in the dreams of learned people (OC 4, 59)."

p. 135 "Artemidorus developed a verifiable, rational, and systematic research apparatus, taking into consideration probability, empiricism, the results of previous dream researchers, and a general determinism. This also includes the intuitions of the interpreter ..., along with the willingness of the client to furnish personal information."

p. 136 "Artemidorus’s method of dream interpretation ... sets dream images and their meanings in relation to different contexts of the waking world. ... Artemidorus knows other contexual categories such as political and cosmic dreams".

p. 136 "In ... Le souci de soi, Foucault ... shows that Artemidorus postulates a reciprocal representation of things; for example, sexual intercourse in a dream does not merely denote sexuality, but can also be related to different contexts not necessarily related directly to the dreamer."

p. 137 "Artemidorus was well aware of the ethnocentric quality of his interpretation (I use the term ‘ethnocentric’ positively). He even proposes a way to overcome it, advising the apprentice in dream interpretation to acquaint himself thoroughly with the manners and mores, flora and fauna, and so forth, of the country where he wishes to practice (OC 4, 4). ... And since all such contexts have an influence on the dream’s formation, the dream, inversely, can furnish information about contexts, in reciprocal relationship : in the dream, the dreamer mirrors the various contexts – cosmos, state, family, circle of friends – to which he is bound.

Freud does not consider social and cultural factors when he says there is nothing more egotistic, anarchic, and asocial than the dream."

p. 137 "In Artemidorus’s open system of dream interpretation, dream narratives draw close to the mode of sociological evidence that – like literature or jokes – can be examined as mirroring or assimilating social processes."

p. 138 "It is in any case striking that the latest methodological combines experimental research with interviews of the dreamers. This procedure ... tries to verify hypotheses about the formation of dreams ... . ... The criteria ... correspond to a remarkably high degree with those in Artemidorus – the social status of the dreamer, a comparison of dreaming and waking worlds, and so forth. As the starting point for further work on the meaning of dreams, we again have recourse to a dream typology, in which specific effects shaping dreams are studied along with clearly observable functions of the dream for the waking state : problem solving, inspirational dreaming ..., and so forth. Being more rigorously oriented toward the dream phenomenon itself and its phases, this mode of dream research comes very close to Artemidorian dream interpretation in its potential openness, ... there is, of course, ... direct influence."


8. (pp. 143-73) Cristiano Grottanelli : "On the Mantic Meaning of Incestuous Dreams".

p. 144 chapters in Oneirokritika

"In the first book of his Oneirocritica (OC), Artemidorus ... in ... His chapter 78 dealt with dreams in which the dreamer had [sexual] intercourse ... with his own daughter, and with his own sister, while

chapter 79 was dedicated to the various meanings of a man’s dreams of having [sexual] intercourse with his own mother."

pp. 144, 146-7 various sorts of incest-dreams

p. 144

"To dream of having sexual intercourse with one’s own mother according to the laws of Aphrodite (frontal penetration) and while one’s own mother is alive in the waking world, Artemidorus says, "is a good omen for all demogogues and political leaders ... ."


If one dreams of having the same type of [sexual] intercourse after his mother’s death in the waking world, he adds,


and if the dreamer is traveling outside his own country, he shall return to it;

but is he dreams the same dream while he is in his own country, he shall have to leave".

p. 146

"the dream book included in the Chester Beatty Papyrus 3, a hieratic text written at the time of Rameses II ... In section 3.5 we read : "(If a man sees himself in a dream) while he has [sexual] intercourse with own mother : (THIS IS A) GOOD OMEN : his family will stick to him," and on the following line : "(If a man sees himself in a dream) while he has [sexual] intercourse with own sister : (THIS IS A) GOOD OMEN : he shall inherit."

The Copenhagen Dream Book (Carlsberg Papyrus 13) is one of the ... dream books in Demotic : ... second or third century C.E. In section b.2 we find a list of "the types of sexual intercourse people may see [in a dream]" ..., and the extant forty lines contain a womans possible dreams, the last of which is incestuous : "... her son copulates with her ... ." ... .

p. 147

... the different perspectives adopted in the texts (a man’s dreams in the hieratic dream book, a woman’s in the demotic papyrus) could have ... to do with the different evaluations."

p. 151 frequency of incest-dreams

"Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex (vv. 975-983) in which Iocaste says to Oedipus that many men have dreamt of having sex with their own mothers".

p. 151 varieties of sexual dreams

"Artemidorus ... is his detailed discussion of different types of the [male] dreamer’s [sexual] intercourse with his mother ... (and culminating in ... oral sex with the mother but also with other partners)."

p. 155 knowledge acquired from dreams, according to Platon

"In ... dreams, Plato says, the best part of the soul "may in isolated purity examine and reach out toward and apprehend some of the things unknown to it, past, present or future ... ([Republic] 572 A)."


9. (pp. 169-88) Hubert Cancik : "Idolum & Imago : Roman Dreams and Dream Theories".

(2.2.1a) p. 174 proof of the existence of the deities

According to Lucretius, "dreams are the proof of the existence of gods, their human form, and their fortune, which humans cannot disturb" [Lucr. 5:1169-1182; cf. Cic. De natura deorum 1:18:45-49].

(2.2.1b) p. 174 dreams emanate from the deities

"Dreams ... penetrate the sleeper from without [cf. Cic. Div. 2:120]. All ... -- ... the gods – continuously release vague images (idola, imagines, simulacra) which fly through space" [Lucr. 4:724 sq.].

These images ... then enter the mind [Lucr. 4:750]. ... Dream images are so delicate that they can penetrate the body directly".

{Similarly, for those (in Africa and elsewhere) who undertake spirit-possession, the spirits (deities) likewise penetrate their bodies directly.}

(2.2.1c) p. 175 existence of animal-hybrid deities

"The dream images do exist; they are physically determinable ... . Thus, according to the ... philosophy of Lucretius, even the mythical crossbreeds have an existence. They are ... Centaurs, Scylles, Cerberus. These images have their own movement" [Lucr. 4:746].

(2.3) p. 176 eidola ("idols") penetrate the body during dreaming

According to Lucretius, "the idols are real; they really do penetrate the body of the sleeper".

{Inasmuch as an "idol" is an official repraesentative of deity, is it implied that dreams are official communications to humans from the deities?}

(3.2.4) p. 181 arrival of Iris (‘Rainbow’) in the cave of Hupnos (‘Sleep’)

[quoted from Statius : Thebaid 10:112 sq.]

"Vague dreams of countless shapes stand round about him,

true mixed with false, flattering with sad, the dark brood of Night,

and cling to beams and doorposts, or lie on the ground."

(3.2.1) p. 179 the significance of dreaming, according to Ovidius

[quoted from Ovidius : Metamorphoses 7:634-43]

"I follow, and, ... with wonder, view

Those Shapes which my presaging Slumbers drew".

"With Ovid, a realization {concretization; viz., transferral from the dream-world into the material world, as in the dream of Aiakos} of dream experiences is quite possible, as the "real world"".

(3.2.4) p. 182 delivery by Iris of Hera’s command to Hupnos

[quoted from Ovidius : Metamorphoses 11:633 sq.]

"Morpheus ... expressed

The Shape of Man, ... but his Action is confin’d,

Extending not beyond our human Kind.

Another, Birds, and Beasts, and Dragons apes,

And dreadful Images and Monster Shapes;

This Demon Icelos, in Heav’n’s high Hall

The Gods have named; but Men Phobetor call.

A third is Phantasmus, whose Actions roul

On ... Things devoid of Soul;

Earth, Fruits, and Flow’rs re represents in Dreams,

And solid Rocks unmov’d, and running Streams."


10. (pp. 189-212) Guy G. Strousman : "Dreams and Visions in Early Christian Discourse".

p. 191 dreaming, according to Tertullianus

"Tertullian states that the majority of mankind learn to know God through dreams". [De Anima 47.2 "The treatise on dreams extends from ch. 45 to ch. 49."]

"Tertullian calls sleep "the very mirror" of death, or its "mirror and image."" [De Anima 42, end; 50, beginning]

p. 192 dreaming, according to Ploutarkhos

[quoted from De Sera Numinis Vindicta 22]

"The dreams, children of Night and messengers of the Moon. {Because the psukhe hath its abode in the moon, therefore dreams are a fit subject-matter for psychology.} ... This oracle ... moves in all places among men, in dreams and visions."

p. 193 dreaming, according to Apuleius

"Dreams were also connected to conversion ..., as shown by the dream of Isis in Apuleius’ Metamorphoses."

p. 196 recommendations, by Christian writers, of antient Hellenic prae-Christian authors of literature about dreams

"in Tertullian’s reference to "the entire literature of dreams," ... he singles out Hermippus of Berytus". [De Anima 46]

"In the late fourth century, the pagan Macrobius proposed in his Commentary to the Dream of Scipio a taxonomy of dreams that was to become the most important single source for the perception of dreams in the Latin Middle Ages." [p. 208, n. 10:51 : "Le Goff (1985:279) reminds us that this text will be fundamental in the twelfth-century renewal of reflection on dreams."]

Le Goff 1985 = J. Le Goff : L’imaginaire me’die’val. Paris.

pp. 196, 209 dreaming, according to Stoicism & Karpokratism

p. 196

"According to the Stoics, dreams could come


For Tertullian also, dreams come from one of three sources : ...

from the gods,


(a deo,

from the demons, or


a daemonio,

from the soul. ...


ab anima)".

p. 209, n. 10:69

"Irenaeus, Adversus haereses 1.25.3 (about the Carpocratians honoring demons which send them dreams, "oniropomps")".

pp. 197-8 the dream by Dorotheos

p. 197

[quoted from Kessels & Van der Horst 1987] "When I was sitting alone in the palace in the midst of the day, sweet sleep fell on my eyelids. ... splendour ... appeared to me then. ...

p. 198

I deemed to be standing in the porch and to behold the Lord in His palace, who is immortal and unborn, and grown from himself."

Kessels & Van der Horst 1987 = A. H. M. Kessels & P. W. Van der Horst : "The Vision of Dorotheus (Pap. Bodmer 29)". VIGILIAE CHRISTIANAE 41:313-59.

p. 200 dreaming according to Simon Magos; dreams of magicians

In the Clementine Homilies : according to Simon (S^imo^n) Magos, "it seems impossible that impious men should receive dreams from God in any way whatever."

"The magician has the power to evoke dreams, and receives power from dreams. This association of magic and dreams is already well established in Greek literature." [Eitrem 1991]

Eitrem 1991 = S. Eitrem : "Dreams and Divination in Magical Literature". In :- C. A. Faraone & D. Obbink (edd.) : Magika Hiera : ancient Greek magic and religion. Oxford. pp. 175-87.


11. (pp. 213-32) Galit Hasan-Rokem : "Communications with the Dead in Jewish Dream Culture".

(1) p. 215 the apparition was seen by some; was heard by another (1st S^mu^->el 28)

Said to the witch : " "Do not fear, what you have seen" is ... fear and seeing equated.

{"And they that were with me saw indeed the light, ... but they heard not the voice" (Acts 22:9; contradicting 9:7).}

Saul ... only hears and does not see the vision".

{Saul "heard a voice" (Acts of the Apostles 22:7; 9:4).}

(2) pp. 218, 220 rafter-dreams

p. 218

Talmudic interpretation of the signification mention of /Kappa-dokia/ in a dream : "Go count ten [/deka/ ‘ten’ for /-dokia/] rafters in your house and you will find your father’s fortune under rafter kappa." [BRako^t 55b]

p. 220

"In one of the best-known dreams of antiquity – Penelope’s in Odyssey 19, line 544 – the eagle (interpreted as Odysseus himself) perches on the rafter of the gabled roof."

(2) p. 219 non-sexual "dreams which are interpreted to communicate incestuous wishes or wish-fulfillments"

"in the Palestinian Talmud tractate Ma<aser Sheni" :-


Talmudic interpretation of it

"I saw an olive tree watered by olive oil

... he knew his mother;

I saw one of my eyes kiss the other

... he knew his sister."

"These texts have been especially central for understanding the rabbinic influence on Freud’s theory of dream interpretation". [Bakan 1958; Bilu 1979]

Bakan 1958 = David Bakan : Sigmund Freud and the Jewish Mystical Tradition. NY.

Bilu 1979 = "Sigmund Freud and Rabbi Yehudah : on a Jewish Mystical Tradition of ‘Psychoanalytic’ Dream Interpretation". J OF PSYCHOLOGICAL ANTHROPOLOGY 2:443-63.-

(2) pp. 220, 231 events are caused by dreams being thus interpreted

p. 220

"The dream follows its interpretation".

p. 231, n. 11:10

"as the dream is interpreted you get it."

(3) p. 221 interpretations of star-dream

"The Palestinian Midrash on Lamentations, Eikha Rabba, ... presents a succession of riddle tales and dream tales. ... The dream of the swallowed star, cited above [p. 219], is ... interpreted ... in Eikha Rabba, on the basis ... of a ... Biblical verse, the image of the innumerable stars in God’s promise to Abraham (Gen. 15:5)."

(4) p. 222 a challenge to praedict future royal dreams, according to the tractate BRako^t

"two Jewish sages ... are approached by two kings, a Roman emperor and the Persian king Shapur. The two rulers provoke the sages to enact Jewish wisdom by demanding that they predict what the emperor and king will dream the next night. The sages recite two striking pictures, paralleling and mirroring each other, in which the ruler is captured by adversaries (the Roman by the Persians and vice versa) and forced to perform a menial task using a golden tool."

(5) p. 223 souls of the dead who hear the living

[quoted from Midras^ Rabbah for B-Re>s^it, Theodor-Albeck edition of the B-Re>s^i Rabbah, p. 1237]

"R. Ishian [said] : The dead person hears his praise as if in a dream.

R. Shimon ben Laqish said : Those who are alive know what those who are dead do, and those who are dead know nothing about that those who are alive do."

p. 223 "since the dead dream the living, the living constitute for them the unknown sphere of the dream."

(5) p. 224 undesirability to return after death {as a ghost, or as a vampire, or via metempsychosis??}

[quoted from Babylonian Talmud tractate Mo<ed Qatan 28a]

"He answered : Who is important, who is safe, who is strong [facing the angel of death]?

He said : Please appear to me [in a dream, after death].

He appeared to him and ... said : Like pulling a thread out of milk.

[p. 225 "The lifting of the thread or the net from the milk brings to mind the preparation of cheese".]

{Is the thread is that of fate praepared by the Moirai; and the milk that of the galaxy as Neo-Platonic path for souls of the dead?}

But if God were [to] tell me : Go back to the world where you were," I would not want it, since the fear is great."

p. 224 "according to Stoic philosophy : death is where calm is, and returning to this world and its anxieties is undesirable."

(5) pp. 225-6 praeternatural wisdom of foetus during its gestation; at birth, abrupt illumination followed by forgetfulness

p. 225

[quoted from Babylonian Talmud tractate Niddah 30b] "when he has seen daylight the sealed opens and the open is sealed ... . And a candle is lit on his head and he looks from one end of the world to the other, as "When


p. 226 "The unborn is ... like one who dreams the entire world, much like the dead are to R. Ishian ... The dream of the unborn expands to include the entire Torah, which is then forgotten, in a Platonist manner, with the help of the angel’s finger."

{The homunculus (immortal foetus) is sometimes identified as the deity having a candle/torch atop the head : Baphomet ("FS"), i.e. (according to Idries Shah) >abu-fihama ‘father of understanding’. Cf. the "candle flame" ("PP&Q") at H.akmah (‘wisdom’) on the forehead.}

p. 226

his candle shined upon my head ... ." [>iyyob 29:3] ... "... as in months past ..." [>iyyob 29:2] ... months only ... of pregnancy. And he is taught all of Learning ... and when he goes out to the world an angel comes ... so that he forgets all of Learning".

"FS" = Peter-R. Koenig : "FRATERNITAS SATURNI". http://www.parareligion.ch/fs2.htm

PP&Q" = Karl R. Nitzke : "Practical Psychology and the Qabalah". http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/394

(5) p. 226 1/60th part

"The motif "sleep is one sixtieth of death"

Is widened to include the world as the dream of the dead."

(... and "a dream is one sixtieth of prophecy")

(5) pp. 226 the unheard voice

[quoted from Pirqe^ d-Rabbi^ <eli^-<ezer] "when the soul leaves the body – the voice runs from one end of the world to the other, and the voice is not heard."

{The Pythagorean "music of the sphaires" is inaudible.}

{Anahata is the ‘unstruck sound’.}

(6) p. 228 a requaest made by the dead in a dream

"Rabbis in the sixteenth century are asked what to do when a dead person comes in a dream and asks to be removed from his grave".


(7) p. 230 a dream of volunteering to be immolated

[quoted from Sadeh 1983:117] (dream by rabbi Nahman :) "in the dream ... it was the Day of Atonement ..., and I agreed to be the sacrifice. And they asked me to make a written commitment, and I did so."

Sadeh 1983 = Pinhas Sadeh : Sefer ha-dimyonot s^el ha-yehudim (‘Fantasies of the Jews’). Tel Aviv.


David Shulman & Guy G. Stroumsa (edd.) : Dream Cultures. Oxford U Pr, 1999.